In 1979 Teaching Assistants founded CUPE 2323, in response to widespread workplace inequality across campus. Teaching Assistants received different rates of pay for the same work, had no guarantee of reappointment in successive terms, had no job security, could be fired with little to no warning, and no access to benefits of any kind. Since that time, your union has negotiated over 15 Collective Agreements with Carleton University, and steadily improved the wages, job security, and benefits for all TAs and Contract Instructors.

The contract instructors, then called Sessional Lecturers, formed their own local, CUPE 3805 in 1996, after a five-month organizing drive supported by the TA local, CUPE 2323. They negotiated a first collective agreement that lasted from 1995-1998. They organized around issues of job security and pay, as well as for a grievance process that would help them address workplace complaints.

In 1997 both units voted to merge into what is now CUPE 4600. Both units thought that by bargaining and mobilizing together, they could get better pay and working conditions for each other.

The new local was founded in 1998 and negotiated their first set of collective agreements together that year.

Today, CUPE 4600 represents over 2,100 Teaching Assistants, as well as 1000 Contract Instructors.